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Old 10-17-2018, 11:35 AM   #1
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Question on Use/Store switch

Just noticed something that seems odd. Working on the trailer, and I happened to do the following:
1. Disconnected from shore power, batteries only
2. Switch in store mode
3. Switch for a couple overhead LED lights in on position (but not lit)
4. Press Use/Store rocker switch to Store position and overhead lights come on as long as the latching relay is engaged. They go off when releasing the switch

Seems odd that the lights would turn on momentarily. But I've never tried this before. Is this normal?

Thanks
Mike
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Old 10-17-2018, 12:06 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by marter View Post
Just noticed something that seems odd. Working on the trailer, and I happened to do the following:
1. Disconnected from shore power, batteries only
2. Switch in store mode
3. Switch for a couple overhead LED lights in on position (but not lit)
4. Press Use/Store rocker switch to Store position and overhead lights come on as long as the latching relay is engaged. They go off when releasing the switch

Seems odd that the lights would turn on momentarily. But I've never tried this before. Is this normal?

Thanks
Mike
Hi

Ok, if you are in the "use" setting, the lights should come on when turned on. (steps 2 and 3) did they not do so? I'm guessing not.

First thing to check is the battery. You may or may not have any battery power.

Next check would be the fuses / breakers going to the use / store switching.

Next thing to check would be the relay board ( = try a few more tests). It may be broke.

Lots of fun

Bob
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Old 10-17-2018, 12:10 PM   #3
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I dont think its that deep, Bob. The lights (and everything else) work fine in Use position. I'm just wondering why the lights come on while the latching relay is engaged when in Store mode mode and hitting Store mode again, and whether that's normal.

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 10-17-2018, 01:44 PM   #4
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Nope. Dead normal because of the way the mechanical latching relay works. When you hit the switch either way, the coil energizes and closes the contacts while you hold the switch. When you let go, the relay stays latched if you hit ‘use’ and drops open again if you hit ‘store’. Yes, it’s weird, but that is how this latching mechanism works.
And do remember that the red light only lets you know you have 12 volt power. Either battery in ‘use’ or converter if you are plugged in will light the light even in ‘store’.
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Old 10-17-2018, 01:47 PM   #5
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Thanks, I kinda figured that's the way the latching relay worked but wanted to confirm. And got it on the red light.

Thanks again,
Mike
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Old 10-17-2018, 02:23 PM   #6
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At one point, I googled the name/part number on the switch panel, and found the manufacturer's website. It had the full schematic and a clear explanation of how the latching mechanism worked. Sadly did not bookmark it.

As I recall, there is a plunger and a permanent magnet involved, and the plunger ends up to one side of the relay internals to latch, or goes straight down to unlatch, or something like that. Either way, it closes the contacts when power is applied--it depends on the polarity of the magnetic field in the coil to determine latch or unlatch when the power goes off. It's kinda clever. The switch simply selects which way the current runs through the coil when you hit the switch.

The red light is just hooked up to the output terminal of the relay and 12 volt ground. So power on the 12 volt distribution bussbar lights the LED no matter what. I was examining the setup to see if it could be made smarter. Nope. It's dead simple clever mechanical, instead of complex electrical latching. So the light is just a power indicator.
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Old 10-17-2018, 02:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by marter View Post
And got it on the red light.
Just remember the red light remains illuminated if you have shore power, and it doesn't matter if you're in "use" or "store".

They didn't want to make it too easy.
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Old 10-18-2018, 10:32 AM   #8
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Also if you want your batteries to have charge going to them and you are hooked up to shore power put "in use" mode. I learned that the hard way.
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Old 10-18-2018, 03:03 PM   #9
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Lincoln, NE

MARTER,
Sorry, but I can’t help myself. I too live in Lincoln, NE and we are always looking for new members to the Nebraska Airstream Club. Check our website for more info Nebraskaunit.wbcci.net .
Hope to see you at our next Airstream luncheon at Parker’s Smokehouse near Ashland. Again, see above website for date and times.
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Old 10-18-2018, 04:04 PM   #10
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Also if you want your batteries to have charge going to them and you are hooked up to shore power put "in use" mode. I learned that the hard way.
From the 2019 GT owners manual:

"When the trailer is plugged into an external AC power
source the 12-volt distribution panel will receive power
from the converter and the batteries will be charged
through the converter charging system regardless of if
the battery switch is in the ON/OFF position."

It also states that if you have solar it will charge your batteries whether you are in store or use mode.

Apparently AS is trying to keep us all on our toes, depends on your trailer. Check your owners manual!
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Old 10-18-2018, 05:04 PM   #11
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Worse, it really depends on vintage of the trailer, and what the factory installer happened to do that day.

For example, our convertor is completely disconnected from the battery in "Store" and will not charge it at all, but because we wired the aftermarket Solar system direct to the battery, it charges the battery anyway. The only way I can stop that is to use the battery disconnect manual switch I added between the battery and the rest of the system..

As with most Airstream systems, verify what really happens when you operate the assorted electrical controls...
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Old 10-18-2018, 05:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by link2dks View Post
From the 2019 GT owners manual:



"When the trailer is plugged into an external AC power

source the 12-volt distribution panel will receive power

from the converter and the batteries will be charged

through the converter charging system regardless of if

the battery switch is in the ON/OFF position."



It also states that if you have solar it will charge your batteries whether you are in store or use mode.



Apparently AS is trying to keep us all on our toes, depends on your trailer. Check your owners manual!


This isn’t true for mine. Batteries discharged in store mode. Couldn’t use the power jack.
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Old 10-18-2018, 05:49 PM   #13
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From my electronics-fiddler point of view, I don't see how Airstream manages to charge batteries from the convertor with the use/store switch set to "store". I can understand that Solar will always charge batteries if connected direct to the batteries, like mine is (now).

I understand that the convertor is connected to the 12 volt fuse panel, which will power all the 12 volt stuff from shore power, and there is a line from the positive battery buss that is supplied from the use/store relay.

But the battery is hooked ONLY to the input side of the relay--no way to get current into the battery from the convertor unless the relay is in "use". Magic, as tempting as it is, does not control the flow of electrons...
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Old 10-18-2018, 07:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmkrum View Post
From my electronics-fiddler point of view, I don't see how Airstream manages to charge batteries from the convertor with the use/store switch set to "store". I can understand that Solar will always charge batteries if connected direct to the batteries, like mine is (now).

I understand that the convertor is connected to the 12 volt fuse panel, which will power all the 12 volt stuff from shore power, and there is a line from the positive battery buss that is supplied from the use/store relay.

But the battery is hooked ONLY to the input side of the relay--no way to get current into the battery from the convertor unless the relay is in "use". Magic, as tempting as it is, does not control the flow of electrons...
Hi

On at least *some* trailers (never ever say all when it's AS) the converter output goes to the use/store relay (not to the DC fuse panel). The panel is fed off of one pole of the use/store relay. The battery hooks to another pole of the use /store. Where the converter gets put is the key to how it eventually works.

Bob
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